We’ve all seen the movies where someone has been broken up with, and they are consoling themselves with a big bucket of ice cream while they ugly cry to a chick flick. Emotional eating is a difficult rut to get out of once you’re in it. Both men and women do it, but it does tend to be more common in women.
Many people use food to help themselves feel full – negative emotions can often have an “emptying” effect, and people turn to food to try to fill the void. This can end up in a vicious cycle of compulsive eating, because oftentimes, the more we eat, the worse we feel about ourselves, and so we eat even more.
Stress eating is not just a psychological habit; it’s physical too! When you stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, and cortisol can be the cause of food cravings. This will have you reaching for junk food faster than you can say “weight gain”.
How To Eat Healthy When Stressed
If you are an emotional eater, there are ways, and habits that you can form to make yourself feel better without needing to overeat.
Your stress eating habit is not going to go away by depriving yourself of food. If the cookie jar is your waistline’s worst enemy, rather stock up on healthy snacks that won’t rack up the numbers on your scale. Go for something light, low-calorie, and easy (and convenient!) to carry around with you.
Substitute the Junk Food
If your sweet tooth goes into overdrive when you’re stressed, try reaching for a fruit you like instead. It will be quite an adjustment at first, but the natural sugar will soon be enough to satisfy your cravings. You can also try substituting junk food for a good habit i.e. taking a short walk. You can distract yourself from your cravings with an activity that you enjoy.
Keep A Food Diary
Mindfulness about what you’re eating will assist you in your compulsive eating habits. You can do this by keeping a food diary and monitoring how much you’re eating, and when.
For a weight loss programme to help you shed those excess pounds and help you form healthy lifestyle habits, contact us for more information.